What Do Flea Eggs Look Like?

Really, what do flea eggs look like? Well, for anyone who’s been bitten by a bed bugOpens in a new tab., you can be sure some tiny flea eggs are lurking around to hatch – either from your cat or dogs. Flea Eggs

But to control flea eggs, you must effectively know their physical appearance and places where they’re hidden – including differences between flea eggs and flea dirtOpens in a new tab.

In summary, fleas eggs are tiny specs (0.5 lengths by 0.25 mm width), rounded-oval shape, with a flexible-chorion and softshell. Adult females fleas produce eggs 1 to 2 days after taking a full blood meal and mating. Flea eggs will be laid on a host like cats or dogs, but they’ll fall off shortly (within hours). 

Flea Eggs – What Do Flea Eggs Look Like?

1. Size – How big is Flea Eggs?

Flea eggs, particularly cat flea eggsOpens in a new tab., measure about 0.25 millimeters in width and 0.5 millimeters in length. Despite that, you can see the eggs with your unaided human eye – particularly when in clusters, these creatures are tiny in body size. 

In the house, flea eggs will be foundOpens in a new tab. in pets’ visits, feed, sleep, and rest. Also, the immature fleas will grow inside carpets – use flea carpet powder to controlOpens in a new tab..

You can control adult fleasOpens in a new tab. using powdersOpens in a new tab., dawn dish soapOpens in a new tab.. Below are additional pointers for flea eggs that may be in your house (or fleas human hair), yard, or on the pet. 

Flea eggs are microscopic creatures that’ll look like the grain of salt. Notably, a single grain of salt dropped on some of the ground may be difficult to notice or find. They are microscopic and thus will only be seen when they’re in clusters.

2. Color – What Color Are Flea Eggs?

Flea eggs are off-white because of their flexible-chorion and soft shell – it may mistake the flea egg for a grain of saltOpens in a new tab. of dirt while on the ground.

The oval-shaped eggs may also be mistaken for the color of human dry skin that’s whitish and rough due to lack of oiling. However, the identity of the flea’s eggs may only be fully verified with a microscope.

For this process, you’ll position the flea eggs on some dark paper before looking at it through a magnifying glass or microscope lens. Notice whether the object is oval-shaped, plus characteristically off-white or white – if so, this could be flea eggs.

3. Shape

Flea eggs take the shape of an oval but elongate object that also has two rounded ends. Further, the viable flea eggs will have its surface being smooth and lacks indentations.

However, the insecticide-sprayed or non-viable flea eggs look collapsed and dimpled. Despite that, you’ll find the eggs dry. They’re at first sticky and wet when laid.

So, flea eggs are oval and clearOpens in a new tab. (off -white) tiny specs in the shape and size of sand or salt grains. However, the eggs mainly exist in the ’20s as a cluster and will mostly be seen in the pet’s sleeping area and rarely on the cat’s or dog’s fur.

But, can you see flea eggs? Fleas’ eggs can be seen with the naked human eye, but they’re significantly small. Therefore, it would help to look around when you suspect a flea infestation in your space.

However, if you’re inspecting the pet’s fur, or bedding, or thick carpet, it would be challenging to see the flea eggs with your naked eggs – so use a magnifying glass.

Where Do Fleas Lay Eggs?

1. Pet Hosts – Cat’s and Dogs

In summary, fleas mainly lay their eggs directly on their host – including pets like the dog’s hip area and the cat’s neck area. Also, adult fleas are mostly permanent ectoparasites on their hostsOpens in a new tab.

You’ll mainly find the flea eggs on regions that are generally less groomed – mainly when you don’t use the cat flea combOpens in a new tab. frequently. 

2. Falling off their Host

Generally, dry flea eggs are not sticky, and thus they’ll easily fall off from the host’s fur and body even before you embark on grooming your pet.

Notably, about 58 percent of the cat fleaOpens in a new tab. eggs will have fallen off from the pets (cats and dogs) in 2 hours after they’re laid. Over 3/4 of the flea eggs will have fallen off within 8 hours.

However, if the pet’s hair is long or isn’t well-groomed, some flea eggs will remain hidden in the thick fiber – mainly if the hair is dirty and dense. 

Further, the flea bites cause server irritation and scratchingOpens in a new tab.– this process makes it easier for the dirt and eggs to fall off from the cats or dogs.

a. Outdoors and Indoor Environment

The eggs that are dislodged from the host will fall into either the outdoor and indoorOpens in a new tab. environment. Notably, these eggs will fall off where the pets will be sleeping or walking into.

Therefore, the movement of the host will influence the spaces where the eggs will be distributed. But most of them will be lying around the feeding, resting, and sleeping areas of the pets.

b. Humid and Warm Micro-climate

Under unfavorable humidity and temperature, fleas eggs tend to desiccate very fast. Therefore, you’ll mainly find viable and live eggs around areas with humid and warm micro-climates.

The RH should be anywhere above 50%, while the  Ambient temperature needs to be in the range of 11°C to 39°C to enable the eggs’ survival.

3. Carpeted Rooms

The fleas will thus be clustered and hidden in the carpetOpens in a new tab.. So, below are the areas where flea eggs lay their eggs in the house, apartment, or yard.

The carpet canopy will protect the flea larvaeOpens in a new tab. and eggs from insecticides, vacuuming, airflow, and sunlight while also holding food for the flea larvae.

The eggs will mainly incubate in upholstery, cushions, pet bedding, floor-board cracks, rugs, and carpeting. However, they may also incubate on wooden floors or carpeted areas.

4. Yard and Lawns

It is critical to note that fleas rarely survive the harsh and sun-flooded outdoor spaces. Further, suitable places for the eggs to survive need shade and wind-shaded plus an RH of over 46%.

Flea eggs incubation zones in the yard include crawl spaces, gardens, flower bedsOpens in a new tab., cat shelters, and dog houses. These places must be devoid of hot sun rays and excessive wind.

Flea Eggs vs. Flea Dirt

Flea dirt is an outcome of significant flea infestations, making it confused for clustered flea eggs. However, flea dirt will crumble readily, and it is dark-colored. 

You can differentiate flea dirt by placingOpens in a new tab. the “dirt drops” on some white canvas, adding some water drops, and checking if it’ll turn reddish – this is a sign of digested host blood. 

So, compared to rec, moving flea eggs, it’s easy to clean up flea dirt – simply vacuuming the clothesOpens in a new tab., bedding, and carpets. However, flea eggs would require insecticides like foggers for fleasOpens in a new tab.

How Long Does It Take for Flea Eggs to Hatch? 

Flea eggs will hatch in 1 week (from 2 days) to 2 weeks – with the right environmental conditions are the correct relative humidity and temperature. Flea eggs are roughly half of the whole adult flea population.

Notably, with high humidity and warmer temperatures, the flea eggs would hatch faster. They’ll quickly progress to other life stagesOpens in a new tab., including larvae, flea pupa, and adult fleas. 

The eggs will be found in batches – on batch having 20 eggs clustered together. Notably, each adult female eggs will lay about 40 eggs each day to more than 1,200 eggs in its lifetime. 

After hatching, the eggs grow into larvae that’ll eat flea dirt. The larvae will develop their cocoon in 1-3 weeks so that it now grows to its pupae stage. 

How to Kill Flea Eggs 

1. Washing or Laundering

Washing or laundering the pet’s bedding and blanketsOpens in a new tab. using hot water helps exterminate the flea eggs. Further, you’ll need to wash all the stuffed animals and pet toys.

Therefore, you’ll need to wash up the bedding and clothes since pets will drop their eggs there once the eggs shell becomes dry or when you use a flea combOpens in a new tab..

Washing machines can hence assist in killing the flea infestationOpens in a new tab.. However, I would also recommend using dawn dish soap plus the hot water. 

Finally, kill the flea eggs by bathing the cat or dog with some flea killing shampooOpens in a new tab. plus warm water. The shampoo contains insecticides and Insect growth regulators that’ll kill adult, babyOpens in a new tab., and flea eggs. 

2. Vacuuming

Vacuuming will kill flea eggsOpens in a new tab. and the larvae, too – equally by keeping your home tidy and clean. Also, you must vacuum under rugs and carpeted areas. 

Vacuuming on the hidden areas allows a quicker sucking on flea cocoons, larvae, and eggs. Equally, flea frequently hates disruption by blowers or vibrations and hence will prevent flea growth. 

Vacuuming will suck up the eggs in carpets and other fabrics. This will be incredibly helpful for indoor pets, spending most of their time on furniture, bed, or couch. 

3. Grooming with Flea Combs 

Flea combs for catsOpens in a new tab. or dogs will help eject the eggs (or their clusters) from the pet’s fur. Therefore, ensure you run the combs thoroughly in the pet’s fur without injuring their skin.

On the flip side, flea combsOpens in a new tab. must not be used on the pet when they’re in the yard – and if so, you’ll need later to use an effective flea spray for the yard. 

Insecticides must contain IGRs (Insect Growth Regulators) as it’ll help cut short the reproduction of the bugs. This prevents the fleas in each stage from progressing to their next life cycle stage. 

Conclusion 

Flea eggs live in some limited placesOpens in a new tab.. Notably, the bugs will only move from the regular hosts when the host dies.

The eggs won’t stick on the fur and hence will fall off within an hour. Vacuum, launder the pet bedding, use effective insect growth regulators. 

Sources: 

  1. Flea Control and Prevention | EntomologyOpens in a new tab. 
  2. Fleas Management Guidelines–UC IPM 
  3. Chemical and Nonchemical Management of FleasOpens in a new tab. 
  4. Flea Control – OSU Fact Sheets – Oklahoma State University

Recent Content